Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Cold Day In Hell

It should by now be obvious to anyone who follows these things that only very, very rich people can afford to own sports teams.

It should be equally obvious to anyone who has followed the story of the Phoenix Coyotes that their latest prospective owner is not very, very rich. And it's that extra "very" that makes all the difference in the world.

Even with a guarantee of $15 million per year from the City of Glendale for "managing" arena, and a year's time to get his investors lined up, Mr. Greg Jamison couldn't get the necessary jack together to satisfy the NHL and become the latest in a long line of folks who thought they could do something despite all the available evidence to the contrary.

My late father-in-law used to say that "if you take a laborer, and beat all the sense out of him, then you have a truck driver." I mention this only because Mr. Jerry Moyes, owner of Swift Trucking, lost by his own estimation $200 million trying to keep the Coyotes afloat. Of course, he had a lot more dough than Jamison (but not nearly so good a deal with Glendale, by the way. Curious that.) But the old saying "throwing good money after bad" applies even to the extremely wealthy.

So, for the time being at least, there's still a hockey team in Glendale, Arizona--many miles away from the majority of its fan base in the East Valley, owned by the league, drawing half filled arenas most nights--that sensible people won't even consider investing in unless the good citizens of Glendale agree to subsidize them.

Glendale got into this pickle thanks to the visionary Mayor, Elaine Scruggs. She is gone now, of course. And, naturally, on her way out the door, crawling from the wreckage as it were, she voiced her disapproval of the city's deal with the Coyotes. Once again, I am reminded of Eisenhower warning about the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex after standing by for 8 years while the Military Industrial Complex took root. But better late than never, I guess.

Anybody know a sucker who's also a billionaire?

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